How a Font Can Make or Break Your Brand
If you’ve ever spent time at Mangold Creative you may have heard me say “don’t look at my kerning!” while reviewing rough creative concept designs for logos or font selections. Or perhaps you’ve heard us discuss headline hierarchy, serif vs. sans serif, or even critique a single letter in a typeface. You may have even heard us joke about Molly’s impeccable handwriting and how it could be a perfect typeface! (For real, take a look at her handwriting sometime.)
If you’re not a designer or in marketing, fonts probably aren’t something you notice often. You most likely aren’t worried about kerning (the space between letters) or even put a ton of thought into serif vs. sans serif selections either. Most small businesses stick with the default fonts that are available (think Arial or Times New Roman) instead of selecting a typeface that really represents their brand. By simply choosing the default you may be missing out on an opportunity to stand out from the rest and engage your target market. Typography or “ the art or process of setting and arranging types” plays a crucial role in the design of your identity and can be even more impactful than a graphic or image. Fed-Ex, Yahoo or Coca-Cola are great examples of brands that use typography based logos.
As a brand your goal is to communicate with your customers in the most compelling and engaging way possible. The typefaces chosen for your brand suggest who you are and what you are selling. To help break it down, here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if you are using your fonts correctly.
1. Is the tone of your brand set and consistent?
In branding, first impressions are everything. Before any information on your website or print materials is actually consumed, an impression and opinion of your brand is being formed. There are many factors that can contribute to your brand’s tone; imagery, typography and color. The key is to make sure you are consistently using the same elements across all avenues; your website, print materials, social media.
2. Have you established visual hierarchy?
A block of copy on a page is unappealing to read and certainly isn’t engaging anyone. It’s important to make sure your words are readable by creating headlines and sub-headlines that are separate from the body copy. A great way to draw attention to different areas of copy and any calls-to-action you may have is to use complimentary fonts, like a serif and sans-serif font together.
3. Can you read it?
You want your message to be easily digested. Is your message arranged in a clean format that the user will know how to follow? It might seem like a good idea to cram content into a brochure or webpage because you have it. Instead I challenge you to shoot for creating an eye-pleasing amount of white space. Put space between your lines and make sure your letters aren’t too close together.
Remember, the key here is to make sure the typefaces you select convey the message you want your brand to represent! In case you are still on the fence about which fonts work for you, here is a cool typeface decision flowchart created by graphic designer, Julian Hansen. Enjoy!